The Kent Conference

September 7-8 2007



Kipling and the Bibliographers

David Richards (The Kipling Society)

[September 7 2007]


In his posthumously published poem “The Appeal,” Rudyard Kipling said to us all:

If I have given you delight
By aught that I have done
Let me lie quiet in that night
Which shall be yours anon:

And for that little, little span
The dead are borne in mind
Seek not to question other than
The books I leave behind.


[Rudyard Kipling, Doctors, The Waster, The Flight, Cain and Abel, The Appeal, (New York: Doubleday, Doran and Co., [31 January] 1939).]
These words—“The books I leave behind”—are correctly read to reflect Kipling’s well-known antipathy to examination of an author’s life for clues to his work. [When Frank Doubleday in 1934 encountered Kipling at his home, Bateman’s, shoveling bundles of paper into a fire; asked what he was doing, the author replied: “Well, Effendi, I was looking over old papers and I got thinking. No one’s going to make a monkey out of me after I die.” Quoted in Andrew Lycett, Rudyard Kipling (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1999), p. 586.] But they can bear another emphasis: “The books I leave behind.” Kipling’s sense of integrity as a writer demanded that he rigorously control his canon, suppressing juvenilia, journalism, and ephemera, and limit the official literary record to his self-selected (and patently incomplete) “collected” works.

This is not the prevailing modern attitude. Present-day authors are anxious to sell their voluminous working papers to institutions, which are equally anxious to possess and catalogue them as troves for future scholars to examine literary history and method. [See, e.g., Rachel Donado, “The Paper Chase,” New York Times Book Review, 15 March 2007, 14-15; Ralph Blumenthal, “Mamet Sells ‘Junk’ to University of Texas,” New York Times 18 April 2007, E2.] By way of contrast, when Mr. and Mrs. Kipling presented (not sold) his significant manuscripts to the British Library and to various universities in England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and France, the primary condition of gift was an interdiction against the manuscripts ever being used “for purposes of collation.” [Barbara Rosenberg, Index of English Literary Manuscripts, Volume IV, 1800-1900, Part II, Hardy-Lamb (London and New York: Munsell, 1990), 412-415.] This seems to have meant, in the donors’ minds, that the holograph texts were never to be compared to the printed publication versions.

In the bound volume of issues of the Kipling-edited school newspaper, The United Services College Chronicle, given by the widowed Carrie Kipling to the Imperial Services College of Windsor, in which Rudyard had annotated by signature his otherwise anonymous contributions, Carrie concluded her flyleaf inscription: “It is the wish of the Author that his manuscripts should not be used for purposes of collation; and the giver of this volume depends upon the receiver of it to see that the Author’s wishes are fulfilled.” With the printed texts, the common stricture dutifully repeated here makes no sense: these texts were never revised or collected, so there are not variant versions to be compared and recorded. But the form of presentation was not varied here in this volume (now at Haileybury), which seems to be the last Kipling “manuscript” given to an institution. On identification of the young Kipling’s writings in this newspaper, see David Alan Richards, “The Schoolboy Editor,” the
Kipling Journal, Vol. 80, No. 320 (December 2006): 35-46. As for Kipling’s working notes and drafts, virtually all were destroyed after his death by his widow (see Andrew Lycett, 587).

Kipling’s clear-eyed appreciation of his importance in world literature is evidenced by the preservation of those manuscripts, bound by the antiquarian booksellers Maggs Bros. in green morocco before their presentation. His inflexible attitude toward a different benchmark of a writer’s worth, the compilation of the formal record of his work, is best understood by reviewing his career-long dialogue with his bibliographers, of whom there have been several, and with whom the author’s lifetime relations ranged from distantly civil to strongly contentious.

This friction was inevitable, since a bibliographer’s primary mission is to record, in significant detail, all the first printings of an author’s work, in periodicals and collected between wrapper or board covers, and all subsequent published revisions, wheresoever appearing, and whether or not with the author’s signature, and whether or not with his commercial or charitable authorization. To a bibliographer, the attendant facts that a particular work was anonymously published, or lacked copyright protection or royalties, or was composed for limited public amusement at an Anglo-Indian charity affair, [“Ballade of Photographs,” written to accompany an album of photographs raffled at an Allahabad bazaar in 1889] or written for private amusement on the back of a menu at a testimonial dinner, [“The Foundations of Philosophic Doubt,” written for Arthur James Balfour on the back of a programme for the annual luncheon of the Stationers’ Company held in July 1925, first published in Kenneth Young, Arthur James Balfour (London: G. Bell and Sons, Ltd, 1963), 458.] are all grist for the bibliographical mill. To Kipling, each was a sufficient reason why no record of his undoubted authorship was ever to be made.

Before his death in 1936, Kipling was the subject of four major bibliographies or (more modestly styled) “catalogues” of his work.

Captain E. W. Martindell, a barrister and veteran of the Great War, published A Bibliography of The Works of Rudyard Kipling (1881-1921) in 1922, [London: The Bookman’s Journal, 1922).] fourteen years before Kipling’s death, with 148 primary title entries of first and first separate editions, and an appendix of “Uncollected Contributions”. In 1923, he published an expanded edition, with 185 entries. [E. W. Martindell, A Bibliography of the Works of Rudyard Kipling (1881-1923): A New Edition Much Enlarged, London: John Lane The Bodley Head Ltd, 1923, hereinafter “Martindell.”]

Flora Livingston, librarian at Harvard University’s Widener Memorial Library, published her Bibliography of the Works of Rudyard Kipling in 1927, after, she wrote, “nearly twenty-five years of constant research, collating various editions and issues and comparing texts,” and, following Kipling’s death in 1936, a Supplement in 1938. [Flora Livingston, Supplement to Bibliography of the Works of Rudyard Kipling (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938), [vii].] These two volumes, which (unlike Martindell) included both English and American first editions of the same title, regardless of publication date priority, as well as subsequent so-called “pirate” (unauthorized) or first separate editions, identified 630 primary titles through 1938. By way of contrast, the 1959 Bibliographical Catalogue by Canadian collector and lawyer James MacGregor Stewart, edited by A. W. Yeats, [James McG. Stewart, and A. W. Yeats, ed., Rudyard Kipling, A Bibliographical Catalogue (Toronto: Dalhousie University Press, 1959), hereinafter “Stewart.”] listed 730 primary entries, and my own bibliography [David Alan Richards, Rudyard Kipling A Bibliography (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2008), hereinafter “Richards.”] has 861 primary entries for the same publication date period through 1959, and 938 through this year.

Two other contemporary Kipling cataloguers with whom Kipling communicated included Rear-Admiral Lloyd H. Chandler, who produced a 465-page Summary of the Work of Rudyard Kipling Including Items Ascribed To Him, published by New York City’s Grolier Club in 1930, which purported to list alphabetically all of Kipling’s poems, stories, essays, and letters of travel, and included an appendix entitled “The Question of Authorship and Unsigned and Uncollected Items”.

Finally, Philadelphia lawyer and collector Ellis Ames Ballard self-published in 1935 his vellum-bound description of 235 items, called Catalogue Intimate and Descriptive of My Kipling Collection, Books, Manuscripts and Letters, With Reproductions of Rarities, How I Got Them, Why I Prize Them, And What I Failed To Get, With Inferences and Opinions Solely My Own and Probably Wrong.

The tail end of Ballard’s semi-facetious title— “with inferences and opinions solely my own and probably wrong” —identifies the Kipling bibliographers’ problem. Flora Livingston, in the Foreword to her 1938 Supplement, stated it directly: “Much of the early material he did not wish reprinted, many things are attributed to him that he did not write, and there is still much unidentified.” [Livingston, Supplement, [vii].]

It has been said that the history of Kipling’s bibliography is the most complex of any modern author, [Harold Orel, Kipling: Interviews and Recollections, vol. 1 ,Towata, NJ: Barnes and Noble, 1983, 107.] His publishing career, including family-authorized posthumous first editions, extended over sixty-three years (1881-1944), and over four thousand printings of his work exist. Much of his prose and verse appeared in newspapers and magazines far from the world’s literary capitals, and their book publication was spread over six continents, in India, England, the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, and South Africa.

His earliest work, in family-published paperbacks and provincial newspapers, is extremely scarce, through exposure to the wet and heat of the Asian outposts of the late nineteenth-century British Empire. Just after Kipling’s death, in “Rudyard Kipling from the Collector’s Point of View,” The Bookseller, 22 January 1936, Percy Muir wrote; “With the possible exception of Stevenson, there is hardly a modern author whose bibliography is so complicated and extensive as that of Kipling, and the causes are many.” Much known to be from his teenage journalist’s pen was first published anonymously or under ever-changing pseudonyms, as Kipling himself acknowledged to Chandler.

On the puzzles of initials and pen names in Kipling’s Indian newspaper career, see the detailed (but, according to later scholars, incorrect and incomplete) discussion in Chandler, 335-44. Chandler’s book was published as part of a matched pair, the other being the Catalogue of the Works of Rudyard Kipling Exhibited at the Grolier Club from February 21 to March 30, 1929 (New York: Grolier Club, 1930), listed in Livingston’s bibliography as no. 562 and in Stewart’s as no. 580, which constituted the first book printing of several Kipling letters and inscriptions (but the author is not known to have complained about this particular “pirate” edition of his work). Some of the names he is known to have used, in India when he was relatively unknown, and then even in England after he was famous, are as follows: He also published unsigned work in English newspapers in 1914 [“The Haldane in Germany,” Daily Express, 7 December 1914.] and 1928. [“War Graves of the Empire,” The Times, 10 November 1928.]

For these reasons, any accurate listing of his complete work required the author’s cooperation, and bibliographers sought his help. His reasons for resistance were fourfold.

The first was the sheer bother of the cooperative enterprise. When responding to Colonel W. F. Prideaux, a member of the Indian Army Staff Corps who had been stationed in Lahore in the early 1890’s, knew Kipling’s father, and proposed to publish a bibliography of Kipling (Prideaux had published notes on this author in Notes and Queries in 1898 and 1902), the author replied on 15 August 1912:

Such a book as you propose would have to be checked by me throughout—else I could not authorize it. Now I am extremely busy and have in addition a heavy correspondence and with the best will in the world could not lay upon myself the extra work which this would entail. I am sorry therefore that I cannot give you the authorization for which you ask.
[Thomas Pinney, ed., Selected Letters of Rudyard Kipling, 6 vols. (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1990-2004), 4: 126.]
Prideaux persisted, asking if he could seek the help of others, and Kipling raised further objections:

If I had friends to whom I could refer you in the manner of dates, references, etc. for the bibliography I would be delighted for you to compile it. But with my habit of publishing in scattered magazines, plus translations, piracies and unauthorized reprints, etc. it would mean much more than proof reading for me, and I am in many cases the only person who could lay hands on the information.29 [17 August 1912, Kipling Papers, University of Sussex Library, 17/21.]
Prideaux, a published bibliographer of Robert Louis Stevenson, abandoned the effort, although remnants of the material he gathered for the Kipling bibliography are now at Harvard University.

The second reason for resistance was commercial: a descriptive entry in a bibliography gave the edition so described prominence, and thus made it “collectible” for those seeking a complete set of the author’s first editions. Ironically, not listing a pirate edition in a standard bibliography could also increase that edition’s value to a collector. When Kipling’s agent A. S. Watt was counseling Kipling’s widow Carrie after Rudyard’s death regarding the formal treatment, in the Supplement to Mrs. Livingston’s bibliography, of unauthorized editions printed by E. W. Martindell and Ellis Ames Ballard, he advised her: “It seems to me that Mrs. Livingston has two alternatives in this matter, either to ignore them or to put it in with a note to the effect that it is a pirated, or unauthorized version. I am rather inclined to favor the latter course which would prevent dealers from saying in future ‘Not in Livingston,’ and so endeavouring to give the pirate stuff a fictitious value.” [A. S. Watt to Flora Livingston, 1 September 1936, Houghton Library, Harvard.]

Kipling’s antipathy to unauthorized publications of his work was fierce and constant, for both commercial and aesthetic reasons, and his sensitivity and litigiousness made his bibliographers cautious. [See generally, David Alan Richards, “Kipling and the Pirates,” The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 59, no. 1 (2002): 59-109.]

Martindell’s practice, in his pioneering 1922 bibliography, was to ignore the American editions when there were a roughly contemporaneous English editions, and to assume the English to be the first published edition even when that was not chronologically true (what bibliographers call “following the flag” of the author’s nationality, such that “true firsts” from other nations fall outside the canon). Still, he included Kipling first editions which were published in the United States and had no British counterpart, including Harper Bros.’ The Courting of Dinah Shadd (in the text for which he quotes Kipling’s accusation of “literary piracy”), Ivers’s American Notes, the Hurst edition of Mine Own People (a “pirated edition”), In Sight of Mount Monadnock (“both these pamphlets are fakes…and both emanate from America”), Dillingham’s Out of India, Neely’s Black Jack, Hubbard’s The Dipsy Chanty, and Dodge’s Abaft the Funnel (“a ‘pirate’ edition”). [Martindell nos. 37, 40, 46, 53, 58, 76, 75 (2nd ed.), and 93, respectively.]

Harvard’s Flora Livingston, understandably more knowledgeable about American pirate editions, not only had before her Martindell’s example of giving an imprimatur to editions unauthorized by Kipling (and no later bibliographer will ignore a predecessor’s listing, if only to confirm, correct, or refute it), but she chose as well to repudiate completely the “follow the flag” course, including in her work American and Canadian no less than Indian and English first editions, describing in meticulous detail variants, separate issues, and piracies. [John T. Winterich, Collector’s Choice (New York: Greenberg, 1928), 173: “Mrs. Livingston has established what I hope will be a bibliographic precedent by listing both English and American first editions, regardless of strict stop-watch precedence.”]

Being scholarly as well as ecumenical in approach, the Harvard scholar sought Kipling’s help through his London literary agent, A. S. Watt, son of Kipling’s original agent A. P. Watt, in a long series of letters beginning in 1919 (we have only the younger Watt’s side of that correspondence). When she first suggested to Watt that the modern collector wanted “particulars of the American as well as the English editions,” that man of business had a firm but florid editorial direction which almost certainly emanated verbatim from his client:

I don’t know whether, in speaking of American editions, you mean authorized American editions or all American editions. As you are probably aware there are many American editions of Mr. Kipling’s earlier and non-copyright stories which have been published without his sanction or knowledge. If the latter are to be included in your bibliography, may I suggest that a special section of your book be devoted to them, and that it might perhaps be headed “Pirate Editions, or Theft under American Copyright”, with a sub-title, “What Happens to an Author’s Work when published without his Permission or Knowledge.”
The letter continues, responding to Livingston’s offer of permitting review of her working draft, with an unveiled threat of legal action:

As I think you are aware, it is not so much to correct any errors that may be in it, that Mr. Kipling would like to see whether he is willing to have certain things published. This, of course, is as much in your interest as Mr. Kipling’s as you might unwittingly include matter which would involve you in copyright difficulties.
[A. S. Watt to Flora Livingston, 19 November 1923, Houghton Library, Harvard.]
In the event, Mrs. Livingston held her ground: she sent proof sheets for Kipling’s review, but seems not to have omitted anything to avoid his displeasure. The author, through Watt, “definitely decided that he cannot authorized your book in any way whatever,” and refused to allow her to use “a few quotations to show the difference between the English and American editions” [A. S. Watt to Flora Livingston, 9 July 1924, Houghton Library, Harvard.], he asked that she “cut out your list of periodicals altogether” [A. S. Watt to Flora Livingston, 22 January 1925, Houghton Library, Harvard.] This was prescient on Kipling/Watt’s part, because listing of a magazine article as uncollected sometimes could lead to it being separately published in an unauthorized edition, e.g: Kipling habitually reworked his short stories and poems between their periodical publication and their appearance in his hardbound collections of stories or poems. In “The Last of the Stories” (The Week’s News, 15 September 1889), he wrote of his “old friend the Devil of Discontent, who lives in the bottom of the inkpot, but emerges half a day after each story has been printed with a host of useless suggestions for its betterment.”] . She was also required to omit the American publication of certain magazine articles [A. S. Watt to Flora Livingston, 26 March 1925, Houghton Library, Harvard.], suggestions in which she acquiesced.

There was the hint of the author’s continued disapproval in the letter from Watt of 19 January 1927: “I am sure that Mr. Kipling or, at any rate, Mrs. Kipling would greatly appreciate it if you would send them a copy of your Bibliography as you so kindly suggest.” [Houghton Library, Harvard]. The Kiplings paid close attention to his bibliographers’ finished works. They had a copy of Martindell’s 1922 Bibliography, which was annotated by both Rudyard and Carrie (Kipling’s daughter Elsie Bambridge loaned the family copy to the A. P. Watt literary agency, and the annotations were transferred to the copy in the Watt office in London), and Kipling left marked copies of Chandler’s Summary and Livingston’s first volume of Bibliography at Mrs. Bambridge’s former home, Wimpole Hall. Some of the things denied in these marginal annotations he surely wrote.

Still, there is also some evidence that Mr. Kipling ultimately recognized that the claims of literary history had some merit, and that only discussion of the pirated editions permitted clear identification of authentic, authorized work. In connection with the great Grolier club exhibition of Kipling’s works mounted in 1929 in New York City, the Club published in 1930, in addition to its Catalogue of the show, Admiral Chandler’s companion volume Summary.

In presentation copies to several of his friends, Chandler proudly included a typescript of a letter received from Kipling dated 23 October 1930, in which the author wrote to Chandler:

“It is a wonderful piece of work, and must have been specially difficult as so much of my work has been published in so many different places and without signature…I wish from a selfish point of view that there had been more about Pirated editions. Some of these include interpolations and additions which I never wrote.” [Thomas Pinney, ed., Selected Letters of Rudyard Kipling, 6 vols. (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 6: 566.]
Nevertheless, his default posture was generally aggressive. When lawyer Ellis Ames Ballard, America’s greatest collector of Kipling books and manuscripts of the last century, wrote the author proposing to reprint certain letters in his collection, Kipling responded:

“My letters were written in confidence, over a series of years, to various friends and acquaintances with no idea of their meeting the public eye. I do not doubt the sincerity of your intentions, but it is possible that you might include matter, or references or implications which might cause pain to third parties, even after many years. In that case again, I should be held responsible.”
While he graciously returned the Ballard-forwarded excerpts from some letters, having marked out : “what should not be published,” he ended with a growl at Ballard’s sleuthing:

“In return for your patience in having read thus far, may I recommend you as a collector not to print your deductions as to the relative merits of the brown and white paper covered School-boy Lyrics. Nothing—as must have seen professionally—is more deceptive than ‘circumstantial evidence’. In this particular case the knowledge rests with me alone.”
[Pinney, 6: 386-7. ]
As later research has shown, Ballard’s supposition that the brown wrappered version of Schoolboy Lyrics preceded the white-wrappered ones (contrary to Kipling’s mother’s remembrance) was entirely correct (Richards no. A1).

Ballard self-published his book in December 1935, stubbornly rejecting Kipling’s direction to cease speculation on the color of the wrappers of his first book, and knowing that he was reproducing other Kipling material for which he had not sought permission, played it safe: in a letter to Martindell dated 9 April 1936 (shortly after Kipling’s death on 18 January), he noted that he had sent six copies to England, but none to Kipling, lest the author object to the book’s distribution, and that Doubleday had declined to do a trade edition of the book. [Ellis Ames Ballard letter, Kipling Society Library, London, folded into the Ballard Catalogue copy.]

Kipling’s third reason for resisting the inquiries of bibliographers was an understandable desire for privacy, not only for himself and his family, but for the community of Anglo-Indians of which he had once been a part. In April 1921, there appeared at auction in New York City at the American Art Galleries a set of verses entitled “A Ballade of Photographs,” written for and included with an album of twenty-nine photographs of Allahabad and Benares which Kipling’s friends Professor Alec Hill and his wife Edmonia prepared as a raffle prize for a church charity bazaar held at Allahabad in 1889. The album was consigned to its second auction, twenty-two years later, by Captain Martindell, and the 1921 auction catalogue was the first book edition of the poem. [Illustrated Catalogue of Notable First Editions, Manuscripts, Letters, Extra-Illustrated Books (New York: American Art Association, 1921). Livingston no. 463, Stewart no. 767, Richards no. B66.]

The lot sold for $1,000 (perhaps $10,000 today), and Kipling bitterly wrote Edmonia Hill on 2 June 1921:

“A Ballad of Photography” has been sold—for one third of my year’s pay in ’89!—but I couldn’t connect till you wrote about a “raffle”. Then it all come back—book and the rest of it. There isn’t a single scrap of stuff that isn’t used and exploited, after untold years, by forgotten people. They never think how it may jar and hurt the original maker, who gave it. You would laugh, as well as be shocked, at some of the cases. I never get used to it. No. I will never write anything about my family or anything connected with it in any way. You may have noticed that I have never been what one might call “forthcoming” in my confidences to the public.
[Pinney, 5: 80.]
The author’s fourth and most compelling reason for denying his assistance to those seeking to know about his early work, whether poem or sketch or story, was that he would not allow to be recognized as his, what he no longer felt to be worthy of his reputation.

For this offense, he railed against the pirates, writing Edward Lucas White on 21 August 1903:

The Law (for which I paid some few dollars) has decided that any publisher in America can take any copyright book of mine and add to it any uncopyrighted stuff of mine that is knocking about the market which he thinks the public may like, and dish up the whole thing under any title. So if by chance you find “The Five Nations” (American edition) embellished with additions in the shape of stray limericks communicated to odd albums, private verses extracted from private letters, etc., etc., you will know that it isn’t me but George Haven Putnam or his imitators. I don’t like being edited by stationers and fancy leather good firms.
[Pinney, 3: 137-8. There was no such pirate edition of The Five Nations, as it happened, since that material was copyrighted, and any edition with that title not authorized by Kipling would have lead to a lawsuit against its publisher. On Kipling’s lawsuit against Putnam with respect to the Brushwood Edition, which rearranged the order of the same Kipling work which was appearing in the Outward Bound Edition, see Richards [2002], 90-1.]
More fundamentally, he reserved the personal right to suppress, not only those gatherings of his undoubted Indian journalism in collections he did not authorize, [Rudyard Kipling, The City of Dreadful Night and Other Sketches, Letters of Marque, and The Smith Administration. See Richards [2002], 77-80.] but any of his work that no longer pleased him. In 1902, demanding that the editor of St. Nicholas Magazine, Mary Mapes Dodge, return to him a rediscovered manuscript of a poem, “The Dusky Crew,” that he had submitted to her for publication as a thirteen-year-old in 1879 and which she now proposed to publish, he wrote in emotionally charged language:

I don’t hold with reproducing M.S. and I’d never have dug up my early verse and put it in the “Outward Bound” [edition] if the pirates hadn’t begun that game first and so deprived me of the (almost) inalienable human (literary) right of decently burying my own dead.
[On 13 July 1902: Pinney, 3: 101-2.]
His “own dead” was a metaphor he used more than once: in another letter to Edward Lucas White, complaining about the 1909 pirate edition Abaft the Funnel, [Abaft the Funnel (New York: B. W. Dodge & Company, 1909) (Livingston 328, Stewart 324, Richards A227). Kipling’s remarkable reaction to this edition, which included compelling his regular publisher Doubleday to issue a competing edition priced at 19 cents, is more fully described in Richards [2002], 101-3. ]Kipling wrote that he was:

A bit sick about “Abaft the Funnel” because the enterprising Dodge must have sent or got a man to rake through old newspaper files and hike out everything that he thought was mine. Rather like having one’s own letters dug up….You see it’s a little thing like that which puts the U.S. out of court when it comes to matters of weight and criticism—and I do wish they’d realize it. I get solemn screeds from eloquent and erudite old birds across the water pronouncing on this or asking my opinion on t’other thing just as if they were alive and counted. Whereas they are quite, quite dead and will stay so, till they emerge from Eolithic environments. It’s quite the wrong attitude I know but what can one do with people without any conception of Law except as a thing to talk about at dinner.49
This, then, was the ultimate reason that he could not and would not cooperate with his bibliographers.

Although he could easily have supplied the information they sought, Kipling rebuffed their inquiries, evidently preferring to see the proliferation of error rather than admit, by his participation, the legitimacy of the effort to identify his unsigned writings.

Yet, in the end, the bibliographers and literary scholars, like the pirates, prevailed. Much of his early work has now been identified, not only by his bibliographers of the nineteen-twenties and -thirties, but by Professor Louis Cornell in 1966 in Kipling in India, [London: Macmillan Press; New York: St.Martin’s Press, 1986.] by Professor Thomas Pinney in 1986 in Kipling’s India: Uncollected Sketches, 1884-1888, [London: Macmillan Press, 1986. (Richards A465).] by Professor Andrew Rutherford, also in 1986, in Early Verse by Rudyard Kipling, 1879-1889, [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986. (Richards A467).] and by Professor Sandra Kemp and Kipling Society President Lisa Lewis in 1996 in Writings on Writing, [Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1996. (Richards A473).] and within the last three years alone, new editions have appeared of his letters of travel as they originally appeared in The Pioneer [D. H. Stewart, ed., ,I>Kipling’s America: Travel Letters, 1889-1895 (Greensboro, North Carolina: ELT Press, 2003).] and his dispatches on the Afghan boundary Commission written for the Civil and Military Gazette. [Neil K. Moran, Kipling and Afghanistan A Study of the Young Author as Journalist Writing on the Afghan Border Crisis of 1884-1885 (Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland and Company, Inc., 2005).]

My own bibliography contains what Kipling, through A. S. Watt, forbade Livingston to include: a comprehensive, chronological list of all periodical appearances of Kipling’s work, signed and unsigned—some 1,078 titles up to this year. Through the end of 1889, in the first 450, only four were signed with Kipling’s full name, while 101 were signed with pseudonyms and initials, and the other 345 were unsigned. Of these first 450, only 238 were later collected by Kipling (and thus authenticated as to authorship) in his authorized editions (and of those, the stories in Abaft the Funnel and letters of travel in From Sea to Sea were only collected by him in response to pirate editions).

I will close by reading the epigraph with which Kipling begins “The Last of the Stories,” first appearing in The Week’s News for 15 September 1889, which was first published between boards, without Kipling’s authority, in Dodge’s 1909 pirate edition of Abaft the Funnel (although he later collected it at life’s end in the Sussex [1939] and Burwash [1941] editions). The tale is about an author who has a nightmare of visiting Hell, passing the “Furnace of First Editions” to the “Limbo of Lost Endeavour,” where the souls of all an author’s characters go, and where Kipling is shattered to be told by Mrs. Hauksbee, Mulvaney, and his other characters that he “did not understand” their essential beings.

That epigraph, from Ecclesiastes 3:22, strangely foreshadows the theme of “The Appeal,” his poem of exactly one-half century later, with which this paper began:

Whereof I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his portion.

[D.A.R.]
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